HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Product News
Automation & Motion Control
ABB Cleanroom Robot Gets Small, Cheaper
2/16/2012

A cleanroom version of ABB's smallest multipurpose six-axis industrial robot is targeted at the electronics, medical, and solar manufacturing industries. 
(Source: ABB Robotics)
A cleanroom version of ABB's smallest multipurpose six-axis industrial robot is targeted at the electronics, medical, and solar manufacturing industries.
(Source: ABB Robotics)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Re:Robotics Maturing
apresher   2/20/2012 10:19:37 AM
NO RATINGS
NightTrain, Thanks for sharing your insights and experience.  We do need more companies to develop a view of robotics/automation as a net positive for productivity.  Other issues shouldn't be standing in the way of innovation and excellence.

NightTrain
User Rank
Iron
Re: Robotics Maturing
NightTrain   2/17/2012 4:45:22 PM
NO RATINGS
Commercially available robots and pickers, their control software, and their data acquisition software are commodities. This week I saw units stripping a loin off a pork belly and shaping the doors at a kit car manufacturer. They arent rocket science anymore. Corporate policy regarding ROI, workforce relations, floor space, etc are the impediments. Industrial mechtronics has all the tools it needs available. Management needs the will.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Robotics Maturing
Ann R. Thryft   2/17/2012 3:06:32 PM
NO RATINGS

Al, thanks for the feedback. It looks to me, also, like there's more specialization going on in robotics. I asked on another thread about vertical software packages for robotics--can you tell us more about those? Where are they appearing, and for what industries/apps?


apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Robotics Maturing
apresher   2/17/2012 2:55:31 PM
NO RATINGS
It's interesting how the robotics market seems to developing more and more products/solutions to reach vertical market areas versus traditional strongholds like welding and painting.  Sometimes this involves the robot itself but often is supported by software solutions aimed at specific needs. I expect we'll continue to see more of this, along with robotic solutions being tightly integrated into machines versus standalone. Plenty of room for innovation.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleanroom robots in high demand?
Ann R. Thryft   2/17/2012 12:19:02 PM
NO RATINGS

Excellent question, Chuck. I suspect the answer is the special glue seals mentioned. At least in semi manufacturing, cleanrooms are generally dry environments, and standards are aimed at keeping the air particulate-free. 

 

On a different note, I thought one of the more interesting aspects of the story is the growing number of applications and industries that want cleanroom equipment, including robots. I wonder why that is. Tighter regulations? Does anyone know?


NightTrain
User Rank
Iron
Re: Cleanroom robots in high demand?
NightTrain   2/17/2012 10:25:47 AM
NO RATINGS
You can remote the control systems to a point depending on the manufacturer and the system. This can present some safety and service issues if not handled well. Depending on the system you can get as far as 60' to 100' of cable length away without significantly impacting control.

It is a slow death for a control cabinet in a washdown environment especially if its stainless steel. Those cabinets condensate even with heat inside. In a FDA environment the survivability is better. In a USDA environment you will be subject to high pressure wash and possibly corrosives. USDA environments are where machines come to die.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleanroom robots in high demand?
Alexander Wolfe   2/17/2012 9:49:04 AM
NO RATINGS
Many process applications have wash-down requirements, which requires enclosures for things like the PLCs. Don't know how this applies to robots, tough, and what it would mean in terms of lubrication. Maybe there are sealed lubrication systems, like they have in many other systems.

NightTrain
User Rank
Iron
Re: Cleanroom robots in high demand?
NightTrain   2/17/2012 9:41:20 AM
NO RATINGS
In my experience, in a food environment, if you are using a manipulator arm bot you use one as shown, or a Staubli etc, which has the drives enclosed within the body. The body is then plumbed so it is negative with respect to the room pressure and vented outside of the room. This makes the bot wipe-n-bag in a washdown environment. Depending on the application, not clean room, you can pressurize the bot. You just set the seals accordingly.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleanroom robots in high demand?
Charles Murray   2/16/2012 7:34:42 PM
NO RATINGS
What about lubricants for the robot's joints? Wouldn't a lubricant emit lots of particles greater than half a micron? I know that robots have been used in clean rooms forever, but I've never understood how any lubricated device could be acceptable in a clean room.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleanroom robots in high demand?
Ann R. Thryft   2/16/2012 3:03:34 PM
NO RATINGS

naperlou, I know what you mean about food service requirements. Stainless steel is easy to wash, and I think that's one of the reasons it's used there, correct? Cleanroom requirements are insanely strict, perhaps even stricter, although also along different lines, the number one thing being particle contamination. So I think that may be why metal surfaces are painted where possible, except for points of stress, to prevent any particles being created. 

What issues did you mean that flat surfaces present?


Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
A bold, gold, open-air coupe may not be the ticket to automotive nirvana for every consumer, but Lexus’ LF-C2 concept car certainly turned heads at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. What’s more, it may provide a glimpse of the luxury automaker’s future.
Perhaps you didn't know that there are a variety of classes, both live and archived, offered via the Design News Continuing Education Center (CEC) sponsored by Digi-Key? The best part – they are free!
Engineer comic Don McMillan explains the fun engineers have with team-building exercises. Can you relate?
The complexity of diesel engines means optimizing their performance requires a large amount of experimentation. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a very useful and intuitive tool in this, and cold flow analysis using CFD is an ideal approach to study the flow characteristics without going into the details of chemical reactions occurring during the combustion.
The damage to Sony from the cyber attack seems to have been heightened by failure to follow two basic security rules.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jan 12 - 16, Programmable Logic - How do they do that?
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service